Without being jittery, it had to produce a battery of results on every match day to end the country’s 60-year long misery. Despite being fluttery at times, the squad fought bravely to add a historic medal to its achievement gallery.
The Indians settled for bronze but it is always good to come away with a medal, isn’t it? The Tamil Nadu trio of Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Anthony Amalraj were crucial to the team’s triumph. They were felicitated at the Velammal Vidyalaya (Alapakkam) and were presented a combined cash reward of Rs 6 lakh.
Defiant and decisive stroke-making helped paddler Sathiyan’s bat do all the talking on the table at the quadrennial event. While many feel disparagers are of no use to them, the Chennai-based lad believes on the contrary.
“It’s not bad to have critics around you. One won’t develop much if he is surrounded only by people who praise him. We must be ready to accept criticism and respect what people say. They are one of the main reasons for our success,” said Sathiyan during a media interaction.
“People might laugh at you. We beat Japan (at the Asiad), which no one even dreamt of. But, once you achieve that goal, people will applaud your work,” added the 25-year-old. A country which goes nuts for cricket is still finding it difficult to stamp its mark in various other disciplines.
Legendary Sharath Kamal was confident that India will be a force to reckon with in sporting extravaganzas in the years to come. “A lot of importance is being given to sports in the past few years. We will only get better, say in five years’ time.
Only after 2008, sport has become a profession. Earlier, it just used to be a co-curricular activity. The approach is really good and in the future, we will be a strong sporting nation,” remarked Sharath, who also won a mixed doubles bronze with Manika Batra.
“We won our first CWG gold in 2006. We have been growing steadily in that event since then. This is our first medal (at the Asian Games). We have been gradually improving. We will have to push harder in the coming years to make it big at the Olympics,” he went on to add.
The Commonwealth Games gold medalist felt one will have to step up the stairs to succeed, with schooling being the initial step. “Basic foundation for success is laid during our childhood. Major support comes from our parents but, if schools and colleges don’t nurture the talent we have, we can’t reach bigger heights,” he stated.